Steamboat schools will adjust bus routes for the spring semester amid driver shortage
The Steamboat Springs School District will adjust its bus routes ahead of the spring semester because of a shortage of school bus drivers.
The changes will eliminate one route, combine it with two others and change some of the afternoon dropoff times, but that does not mean there will be any cuts in service for students.
Steamboat has actually fared better than many school districts across the state when it comes to bus drivers and started the year fully staffed in the transportation department amid a myriad of other staff shortages.
Superintendent Brad Meeks said the district has been fortunate to maintain a strong staff of bus drivers this year.
In the Summit County School District, a shortage of drivers forced the district to cut seven bus routes, leaving some students without a ride to school. In Crested Butte, bus service was abandoned all together. One student in Silverthorne even chose to kayak to school in September.
The Steamboat district has advertised an open bus driver position since the beginning of November that offers a pay range of $20.45 to $21.31.
In a meeting with the school’s board earlier this month, district Human Resources Director Katie Jacobs said, overall, the district is 95% staffed.
In that same meeting, board member Kelly Latterman said bus drivers, custodians, paraprofessionals and substitute teachers have been difficult to hire for districts across the state.
The changes with Steamboat buses will go into effect Jan. 4, just in time for the spring semester.
The district’s interschool shuttle, used to move students around between the districts buildings will be eliminated, folding those stops into bus routes No. 10 and No. 8. The stop at Stockbridge Transit Center will no longer be serviced in the morning or afternoon, and route No. 8 will instead be used to shuttle students from Sleeping Giant School to the district’s other buildings in the morning.
In the afternoon, both routes 8 and 10 will be used to shuttle students from Sleeping Giant out to other buildings, but route 10 won’t arrive at the Strawberry Park campus and Steamboat Springs High School until after the main departure of the other route buses.
Route No. 14, which heads up Routt County Road 129 toward Clark, is the other route that’s changing. The route will no longer stop at Stockbridge either, instead loading students at the Strawberry Park campus and at the high school. This will result in adjusted dropoff times in the afternoon for these students.
To reach Dylan Anderson, call 970-871-4247 or email danderson@SteamboatPilot.com.
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